“A champion is afraid of losing. Everyone else is afraid of winning.” - Billie Jean King, 39-Time Grand Slam Tennis Champion
Today is the 46th anniversary of the famous “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match between two phenoms of the sports — Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. The 29-year-old King was determined to defeat 55-year-old Riggs after he goaded her into the match, making numerous sexist comments about the “inferiority” of female tennis players. One of the most watched televised sporting events of all time, an estimated 90 million people worldwide tuned in to see King and Riggs face off on the court in the Houston Astrodome in September 1973. Proving all of her naysayers wrong, King beat Riggs in three straight sets, 6–4, 6–3, 6–3, earning the winner-take-all prize of $100,000. During her career, King won 39 Grand Slam titles and she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987. A courageous advocate for gender equality, King was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 by U.S. President Barack Obama for her work fighting for the rights of women and the LGBT community.